The Legislative Department’s challenge is to protect the gains our members have made over the years and to work for legislation to further improve conditions in the workplace and in society. Department staff work primarily on two fronts – at the national level and in the states – and rely on the help and assistance of TCU’s local lodge and district officers and their grassroots committees consisting of activist members dedicated to advancing our Union’s agenda.
The legislative staff at headquarters, is led by International Vice President and National Legislative Director Robert Davis as appointed by International President Robert A. Scardelletti. The department works closely with other union legislative representatives through the AFL-CIO and their affiliates, as well as other coalitions, participating in coordinated efforts. They also work closely with legislators, their technical staffs and others to persuade them to support TCU’s legislative priorities. Sometimes this involves an all-out effort to enact legislation working people need – for example the struggle for preserving and improving the Railroad Retirement System, prohibiting striker replacement and enforcing rail safety. And, at times, our role is to try to block passage of harmful legislation: for example, stopping the repeal of New York Dock labor protection in rail mergers and protecting the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).
The department continually monitors and reviews all pending legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate during the current session of Congress in order to establish which issues may affect TCU members. Together with International President Bob Scardelletti it is determined which legislative bills will become a main concern to our Union. These particular House and Senate bills are then closely followed and reported on in our Union publications entitled, The Legislative Watch and Interchange magazine, as well as on our TCU website.